Marijuana has become a hot topic over the last couple of months, especially since Trump was elected.
Most states are pushing forward with different bills to legalize marijuana and 28 states already have medical marijuana laws on the books.
Furthermore, eight states have passed recreational marijuana laws too.
While Donald Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, are constantly expressing their concerns about the penetration of recreational marijuana, one must not forget that on his campaign trail, he expressed that he supported medical marijuana but did show signs of being less enthusiastic about recreational marijuana. Arkansas, for example, which went to Trump in the 2016 election, also voted to legalize medical marijuana with 53% of the vote.
The problem is that nominating Jeff Sessions as the country’s top lawyer is like adding fire to the flame.
Is it the end of recreational marijuana?
Despite the recent negativity, there are some politicians that are pushing it forward on a Federal Level. Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1227, to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.
The “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.
Plans are already underway to get marijuana proposals on ballots in 2018 and 2020, and depending on how those votes go, medical marijuana or recreational marijuana could be legal in all 50 states — plus D.C. — in 2021.
Could Marijuana Save the U.S. Economy?
Since 1970, the U.S. government has run a deficit every year, with the exception of four fiscal years (1998-2001). The current U.S. Government debt stands at 19,959,594, which equals to -104% debt to GDP.
According to recent data, retail sales of marijuana clocked in at $6.5 billion last year, up from $3.8 billion in 2015. Just imagine how much of that is ending up in state tax coffers.
Colorado, which heavily taxes marijuana, collected nearly $200 million in taxes from recreational pot use.
Furthermore, the marijuana black market is worth $36 billion. Just imagine what would happen if marijuana was legalized on a Federal Level. Total sales could surpass $40 billion.
The Big Question
Who has more influence, the Trump administration or big pharmaceuticals and lobbyists trying to capitalize on the situation. Furthermore, the way it could benefit the economy is unheard of.
Sure, there will always be those that oppose, but with all that said and despite recent statements, the ongoing marijuana trend is unlikely to be much of a priority for the Trump administration and most probably too big stop. As of now the marijuana industry only seems to be gaining momentum.